The Jardin del Parterre and Jardin de la Reina of Aranjuez !!!

I know about Aranjuez since a young child, my mother would sing to me the concierto of Aranjuez, that has been even turns into operas and zarzuelas in my beloved Spain. Many versions tells of a love between a Prince and a lady that was not possible to be. The Royal Palace and its gardens are sublime, I have told you about the palace and the Prince’s garden, but left out the others and nice pictures me think, Therefore, here is my Jardin del Parterre and Jardin de la Reina of Aranjuez, Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Jardin del Parterre garden is located next to the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. It is one of the few examples of classical French gardening in Spain. It is located at the back of the palace. It was made in the time of Felipe V, between 1728 and 1735, At first, the garden was enclosed by a wall at its southern and eastern limits. However, in 1751 it was replaced by an iron railing with stone pilasters from Colmenar, and between 1760 and 1763, it was removed and replaced by a perimeter moat with water, in the form of a ha-ha. Finally, throughout the 19C it underwent various modifications that would lead to the existing design in contemporary times. Thus, around 1850 the baroque layouts were changed for an Elizabethan design, and in 1871-1872 winding paths were created, forming islets.

aranjuez jardin de la parterre hercules aug16

It consists of an elongated trapezoid, based on the eastern façade of the palace. It is made up of three large groups, organized around four fountains and separated by undulating streets, following a central axis. The first group is located next to the Royal Palace; features two fountains, the Nereidas, located symmetrically within two prairie areas bordered by boxwood hedges, and between these two roundabouts appear: one oval, grass, bordered by a hedge and with the figure of a crown inside, and another circular, with a compass rose in a boxwood hedge framed by a frame also made of boxwood. The second group is organized around the pond of the Ceres fountain, located transversely with respect to the main axis of the gardsculptural groups. Finally, the third group, inside the semicircle that closes the garden to the east; in it is the circular fountain of Hercules and Antaeus and pieces of prairie.

The sphinxes and vases of Thierry are located next to the facade of the palace. The sphinxes do not appear as part of the garden until a plan from 1920; however, they date from the 18C. In the garden there are also four of Thierry’s twenty-eight vases brought to Aranjuez in 1804 from the gardens of the Royal Palace of Granja de San Ildefonso; in two of them the four seasons are represented, while in the other two Bacchic masks are represented with a garland of oak and ivy,  The Fuente de las Nereidas are two sculptures cast in lead, representing the Nereids, and were transferred from the Granja de San Ildefonso in 1744. They are pieces belonging to the original decoration of the garden, focused on the representation of water in nature . They are painted imitating marble, although initially they were made of bronze.

The Fuente de Ceres or fountain of Ceres with the statue of Ceres from 1791, was installed in the Jardin del Principe, until in 1889 it was moved to the Parterre. The figure appears seated facing the palace, with a torch in his right hand and a bunch of poppies in his left hand; on her right side is a sheaf of ears of wheat and behind her a snake next to another bundle of wheat. Additionally, her hair is girdled by a crown of spikes and a genie to her left holds a horn of plenty.  The Fuente de Hercules and Antaeus fountain began under Charles IV and in 1807 it was practically finished, but it was not until 1827 that it was installed in the place previously occupied by a fountain dedicated to the Tagus. It consists of three sculptural groups within the same pond. The central group culminates in the sculpture of Hercules and Antaeus and is formed by a fluted column trunk supported by a four-sloped roof; It contains Hercules as a child attacked by two serpents and the attributes of the hero, such as the mace, the bow with a quiver and the laurel wreath. Below the roof, four facades simulating a dwelling, with masks and garlands, and at the base of the whole complex a rocky area, in which various deeds of Hercules are represented through the animals or monsters he killed: the ceriva de Cerinea, the Cerberus dog, the Erymanthus boar, the Nemean lion and the Cretan bull, as well as the representation of other beings, such as sirens and a chimera. The two lateral groups represent the columns of Hercules, Calpe and Ávila, on some rocks. On each one appears the inscription Non plus ultra, and a dragon looking towards the center of the pond.

The Jardin de la Reina or garden of the queen is also located next to the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. It is located next to the north wing of the Palace, overlapping behind its main façade, as well as its symmetrical Jardin del Rey or king’s garden. The space it occupies has a trapezoidal floor plan due to the layout of the Ría, since it is not parallel to the palace.

The Queen’s Garden was included in the original conception of the palatial complex but for a long time it was only an esplanade through which one could access from the palace to the Jardin de la Isla with which it is connected by two bridges and the Jardin de la Parterre. The first improvement must have taken place between 1869 and 1872, when a marble fountain was placed. In 1889, when the sculptural group of Ceres was moved from the Jardin del Principe to the Jardin de la Parterre, the three small fountains that were in the latter’s central pond were freed; two of them were placed in the gardens of the King and the Queen, so the planting of the garden must have taken place in the last years of the 19C.  It presents a design similar to the King’s garden but with smaller elements; cruciform floor plan, whose main axes meet in the center giving rise to a square plaza, and a central stone fountain from Colmenar. Two other transversal axes are added to create eight planting squares, which are accompanied by rosebushes and ball finials in the corners. The fountain has a mixtilinear plan and has a sculptural group of a pair of putti holding a fish.

The city of Aranjuez on the gardens:

The Aranjuez tourist office on the gardens

The Comunidad de Madrid region tourist office on the gardens

There you go folks, a nice palace and beautiful gardens in a nice town of AranjuezMaybe not a love story for you or me but nevertheless its a very romantic place especially in Jardin del Parterre and Jardin de la Reina. Enjoy the gardens of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez!!

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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